Coffee Time Tuesdays: Books I Wish I Read in 2022

3 titles on my 2022 TBR I will carry over into 2023 and a brand new book release in today’s column

Well, hello there, dear readers! How’s your December going? Anyone else scrabbling helplessly to get through the pile of books they’ve started and don’t hope to finish before New Year’s? No? Just me, then.

I’m currently at the office (I work in a university, so my office of the day is in an arts building, which is pretty cool), sipping my eggnog latte and organising my day. And as I was going through ideas for today’s column, I realised, maybe not unexpectedly, that my list of 22 must-reads of 2022 will remain tragically incomplete this year.

My chaotic reading habits are no secret, at this point. I read intuitively — so TBRs are pretty pointless for me. I also struggle, despite my best efforts, with weeks’-long reading slumps at least three times a year, and when those slumps strike, the last thing I want is a difficult, sad, or widely acclaimed book that I know very well I can’t focus on and appreciate fully. Yet those types of books always end up on my TBR.

Hence, the backlog of unticked titles on my 2022 to-read list. At this point, I’m fine with it. I’m the first person who will say reading shouldn’t be about numbers or tick-boxes. But that’s not to say I’m giving up on my list altogether. 

I will write a more in-depth article going through my whole list of 22 books I aimed to read in 2022. But today, I decided to share with you three titles I’ll definitely carry over into 2023.

‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara

I’ve been meaning to read this tragic landmark of the bookish world for at least a year now. I never seem to be in the right headspace for it. But I do have moments sometimes when I crave intense emotion and I usually turn to books to satisfy that need.

So A Little Life will be among the first titles I’ll pick up next year. You’ve heard it here first. January is a pretty miserable time anyway, might as well read a book that fits the mood to get through it.

I know this book is incredibly difficult, with a million trigger warnings attached to it. Before I even bought it, I did my research to make sure it wasn’t something I would struggle to get through in an emotionally controlled way. Why do I want to put myself through it, you might ask? Honestly, because of its popularity. Seldom have I seen a book trigger such strong and raw reactions and I’d like to form my own opinion on it.

‘Apocalyptic Swing’ by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Keeping with the jolly theme, this poetry collection was intrigue at first sight — getting me to add it to my TBR as soon as I heard Lauren, the sister of Kat from paperbackdreams on YouTube, talk about it.

Lauren has very similar reading tastes to mine and she’s one of the only booktubers (although, technically, she’s a booktuber’s sister) who recommend good contemporary poetry. 

Apocalyptic Swing covers themes of life, faith, sexuality, violence transcending the physical world, and the role of music and culture in binding life together. 

I’m committed to becoming more familiar with contemporary poetry in the English-speaking world, so this will be top of the list next year. The only reason why I haven’t gotten around to reading it is that it’s virtually impossible to find — but I’ll get it one way or another.

‘Malibu Rising’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid

How could I miss a new, popular release from one of my favourite authors, you’re asking? Well, I may or may not have let the season slip through my fingers, and before I knew it, it was too cold and the leaves were too maroon for me to read a book about Hollywood stars surfing in Malibu.

My summer was jam-packed. I moved house in June, I had my university graduation in July, bearing in mind I also work for the university, so those two weeks were intense with long work days. Then my parents visited, then my birthday came, and then I went home on holiday. That was my summer. I did start Malibu Rising in late August but never got around to finishing it. One for next summer, for sure.

Hot New Release

This week’s new release is a surprising one. Although I try to recommend new books as universally appealing as possible, I do gravitate towards the genres I enjoy the most, because those types of books usually catch my eye.

But this week I’m recommending fantasy, which I almost never read. Anastasia by Sophie Lark made the cut, though, with its magical take on the well-known tragic story of the Romanovs. 

Here’s what the blurb says:

Anastasia is the princess no one needs: the fourth daughter born to an emperor without a son, and the only royal lacking a magical gift. Until she collides with a young Cossack rebel, changing both their lives forever.

Damien is taken from everything he knows and raised as a ward of the Romanovs. Anastasia develops a strange kind of magic shared only by the Black Monk Rasputin. While her power grows in secret, boosted by forbidden contact with Damien, Anastasia makes a mistake with terrible consequences.

I mean, come on. Can you say no to a dark, magical story of royalty, history and love? I certainly can’t, even if it makes me dip my toes into a genre I rarely reach for. Anastasia has been out since last Tuesday, so it’s still nice and fresh off the press.

And that’s it for today’s Coffee Time Tuesday. What books from your 2022 TBR are you committed to reading next year? And if you’re one of the rare creatures who actually read their entire list for 2022, what were the highlights? Let me know in the comments!

Published by Eliza Lita

Founder and editor-in-chief: Coffee Time Reviews. Freelance writer and Higher Ed comms person.

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